Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hidden Treasure

(Our daughter, Aimee turned 25 recently. To decorate for her birthday party we put out pictures of her from her childhood. We thought that her 3-year-old daughter, Ethne, looked a lot like her when she was age 5 or 6, see for yourself)

The other morning as we prepared to fly out to San Diego, this rainbow appeared in the clouds.

This is how the El Paso mountains looked as we took off.

In a happy three-year-old voice Ethne announced, “I put a diamond up my nose!”

I laughed. I knew I shouldn’t. Diamonds, even the play rhinestone kind, should not be hidden away in a tiny nostril. A quick check confirmed her statement and a hard blow into a tissue failed to dislodge the snug gem. I got the tweezers and went into that tender little nose with great care and little skill.

I stopped. “I’m afraid I’ll push it in deeper. Let’s wait until Granddad gets home.”

By this time, the shine on her face had disappeared and a concerned look had filled her eyes. She sat very still and brave, waiting there, on the kitchen counter for the doctor. “Will he come soon?”

“He shouldn’t be too long.”

But it seemed long.

As soon as he walked in the kitchen she blurted out her confession. “Granddad, I put a diamond in my nose.”

He looked very serious but I saw the laugh tugging at the corners of his mouth.

“You need to get your special light and your long tweezers,” she commanded.

He obeyed. Then with a steady hand he tilted her tiny chin upward so he could take a look.

“Do you see it?” I asked.

“Yep. It’s there.” He released her face. “Did you try to blow it out?”

“Yes,” I answered, while Ethne nodded, “but it didn’t work.” We shook our heads.

He put down all his mysterious medical tools used for such occasions and went to the hall bathroom, returning with a tissue. He covered her tiny nose (with the alien object hiding inside). “Blow!”

She did.

Then Granddad opened his hand. There on the white tissue lay a tiny fake diamond.

I couldn’t believe it! “How did you do that?”

“I closed off her other nostril as she blew.”

I smiled, but it was our little granddaughter who wore a smile that radiated through every cell of her body. An expression of pure joy—that shining, shimmering look of relief mixed with gratefulness—a look that overtakes us when we realize we’ve been spared the painful consequences of our spontaneous, but foolish, actions. She laughed and we joined her.